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Sunday, January 6, 2008
WND Again Tiptoes Into Letting Others Criticize It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For the second time in the past few months, WorldNetDaily has printed a letter in which its reporting skills are questioned. While the earlier criticism was unusual in that it was substantive (though appeared only in its letters section and was deleted after a week), the new criticism appears as the Jan. 4 "letter of the week," though it falls into its usual approach of painting its most extreme critics as representative of all its critics. (Evidence: WND has all but refused to publicly acknowlege anything we've documented.)

The subject was the new issue of WND's Whistleblower magazine, with the subject of "Witchcraft in America." The author of the criticism, "Dr. Ivy," unfortunately undercuts her credibility by beginning her letter by recounting her pagan and Wiccan credentials. Front-loading that allows her to be dismissed as a nut (and a pagan one, too!) in the minds of WND's target audience. Indeed, a letter posted Jan. 5 (letters cycle out after a week) stated that the list of credentials "had me literally rolling on the floor with laughter."

Once that's out of the way, though, Dr. Ivy accurately portrays WND's modus operandi, proclaiming the Whistleblower witchcraft issue as the product of "little minds who did no insightful research on the subject, nor spoke with any of the leading, and often times more public, high priestesses or high priests, much less spoke with any of the reputable leaders of the several schools of Wicca in just the United States alone." Dr. Ivy continues:

I could go on and on with this diatribe, but I already "suspect" that you've made up your mind for the sole purpose of "sensationalism" and making money by propagating outright falsehoods, and have already "turned" your attention away from this letter before even reaching this point.

IF, and that's a very big "if," on the other hand, you recognize that your presentation regarding Wicca is lacking in validity and is heavily weighted with falsehoods and absolute inaccuracies against this "belief," than, if you should wish, you may contact me or any nationally recognized leader of Wicca. I'm certain that every reasonable effort would be made to "correct" the absolutely horrid inaccuracies presented in the article that you published.

However, at the risk of offending you and your supposed "staff," I doubt that you have the wherewithal and integrity to attempt any such contact, much less making an admittance to having presented an inaccurate "picture" of Wicca and making apologies for such offense.

It's true that WND cares little about accuracy and fairness when there's an agenda to push, as we've copiously documented. It's all too likely that, given WND's track record, this issue of Whistleblower is dedicated only to bashing witchcraft and paganism, cherry-picks quotes in order to make it look bad, and offers no one in the movement a fair opportunity to respond.

It's more than likely that Dr. Ivy's letter is the end of contrary views WND will publish on the subject -- and all but certain that WND will never publicly address the shortcomings in its reporting.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EST

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